You’ve just come through January. You're likely loaded with leads at every stage of the sales process, from the influx of emails your latest campaign generated to the slew of new tours on deck. How do you make the most of all this interest? This article will help you master lead management in your senior living community.
Track every lead, every time
Quality leads may be slipping through your fingers every day if they aren’t properly tracked.
To be sure you’re capturing every lead through every avenue of generation, fully integrate your CRM. Sync up your website inquiries, referral leads, social media followers, and phone queries.
A call center can be crucial for streamlining and codifying your phone lead input. You’ll likely get more substantive info over the phone. Be sure to have a quick, standardized way for your phone staff to track key factors while remaining engaged. Take phone lead capture a step further by using unique marketing phone numbers to track the source of your calls.
Leave no loose ends. The more integrated your system is, the more powerful and complete your marketing efforts will be.
Customize your CRM to classify each lead, as they come in, by what factors are most crucial to you. See more on lead segmentation below.
Allow your CRM to do the heavy lifting. Establish set protocols for each type of lead and roll out a sequence of personalized content for each one.
Segment your leads to maximize lead engagement
No scattershot marketing method is going to satisfy your leads. The most general message often appeals to the fewest people. Your database may be brimming with leads, but if you can’t reach precisely who your message is intended for, you’re wasting time and money.
Group your leads into segments, organized by shared characteristics. These segments allow you to personalize your communication, tailor your content, and give each lead precisely what they need most. This may not change who the leads are, but it does change how responsive you are to them.
Here some key ways to segment your leads:
Create a campaign timeline that defines how each lead will move through specific content. For example, after attending an event, a lead will receive:
- A thank-you email the following day.
- An email from your director three days out, describing the value of a tour.
- An email from a happy resident one week out, describing the sense of well-being gained from living in your community.
You get the picture. Each step of the way, the lead moves along a predefined content pathway. Provide educational value each step of the way.
Later, you can examine data from this segment. This will help you understand better what specific content along your timeline generates the most appointments, tours, and conversions.
What type of care is each lead interested in? What services and amenities matter most to them? Have they identified any concerns about joining a senior living community?
Data on interest segmentation may be especially useful in keeping content fresh. What drives your leads to you may be constantly evolving. Make what’s important to them important to you.
Potential residents are not making their senior living decisions in a vacuum. They are affected by the opinions and preferences of their family, friends, and community. Often, adult children make the decision for ailing parents. Segment leads based on the key influencers who are driving the decision-making process.
Data on influencers can help you better understand how you are rating with extended family and other caregivers. Do you consistently hit it out of the park with adult daughters but strike out with adult sons? Delve into why and adjust your strategy accordingly.
In all of this, let’s not forget the basics: age, gender, ethnicity, religion, and income. A 65-year-old and a 85-year-old will want to see different community strengths highlighted in your content. To your prospects of faith, target relevant content about your community chapel.
Analyzing demographic data can yield foundational insight into your ideal customer personas. What is the very basic profile of the person who you convert most easily? What is the profile of your toughest cookie? Keep these personas in mind when crafting strategy.
It’s crucial to be able to pull out those leads that have not yet been contacted. You also want to know who has traveled all the way through your timeline without biting. To save resources, be sure to carefully track leads who are disqualified due to bad info or moving in elsewhere.
Here, it will be useful to minimize those leads with a “Not Contacted” status. Speed to lead is crucial!
Where is each lead in the sales pipeline? You’ll want to craft a different email to those who downloaded your new ebook than to those who took a recent tour. By tailoring your content and communications to each segment -- top, middle, and bottom of the sales funnel -- you’ll up your chances of getting a response.
Sales stage data will also provide useful information down the line. You’ll be able to see clearly where your leads are stagnating and where your sales team is succeeding.
Score your leads and stoke the hot ones
Once you have all the data on your different lead segments, you’ll be able to determine their lead score. Unlike SAT and FICO scores, a lead score is less about past behavior and more about determining how your leads they may behave in the future.
After you’ve determined your criteria for lead scoring, your CRM can automate the process. This will leave you and your team free to focus on follow-up. Your hot leads are most likely to convert -- they need attention fast. Nurture warm leads next, and develop a protocol for caring for cold leads, too, using streamlined resources.
Follow up fast, follow up often
All of this good hard work will be lost if you don’t follow up quickly, consistently, and often.
- Follow up with every lead. Even cold leads need dedicated nurturing. Leave no stone unturned, and no email untouched.
- Follow up quickly. Connect within minutes when possible. Companies that follow-up within one hour of initial contact are seven times more likely to have a meaningful conversation.
- Follow up thoroughly. Don’t play hard-to-get with your information. Answer questions completely. Keep your message on brand and your content personalized, educational, and useful for the specific leads it targets. Providing comprehensive, valuable information builds trust and confidence as a lead moves forward in their relationship with you.
Want more tips on lead management? Check out our webinar on how to measure success for your community.